Oct 5, 2021 - Energy & Environment

In photos: Oil spill threatens Southern California shores

 In an aerial view, a containment boom blocks oil-contaminated water (L) in the area of the Talbert Marsh wetlands after a 126,000-gallon oil spill from an offshore oil platform on October 4, 2021
In an aerial view, a containment boom blocks oil-contaminated water on Oct. 4 in Huntington Beach, California.

Authorities are working to contain one of the largest oil spills in California's recent history that has devastated wildlife and contaminated several popular beaches.

The big picture: The spill was detected Saturday and was estimated to be about 13 square miles in size. Some 126,000 gallons of crude oil has spilled into the waters, per the Coast Guard. The full scope of the environmental impacts remain unknown.

Veterinarian Duane Tom examines a small bird brought to the Huntington Beach Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center on Oct. 4.
A veterinarian examines a small bird brought to the Huntington Beach Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center on Oct. 4. Photo: Mindy Schauer/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images
people overlooking oil against a berm of sand to keep it from flowing from the ocean into the Santa Ana River as an oil spill from an offshore oil rig reaches the shore
People overlook oil collecting against a berm of sand to keep it from flowing from the ocean on Oct. 3 in Newport Beach, California. Photo: David McNew/AFP via Getty Images
A worker cleans up the ecologically sensitive Talbert Marsh as a major oil spill washes ashore in Huntington Beach Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021
A worker cleans up the ecologically sensitive Talbert Marsh as a major oil spill washes ashore in Huntington Beach on Oct. 3. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Heavy machinery builds a sand berm, blocking any more oil coming into the Talbert Channel
Heavy machinery builds a sand berm, blocking any more oil coming into the Talbert Channel as a major oil spill washes ashore at Huntington Beach, California, on Oct. 3.
Cleanup workers in protective suits prepare to depart the closed Huntington State Beach as a storm approaches after a 126,000-gallon oil spill from an offshore oil platform on October 4
Cleanup workers in protective suits prepare to depart the closed Huntington State Beach as a storm approaches after a 126,000-gallon oil spill from an offshore oil platform on Oct. 4. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images
Workers with Patriot Environmental Services mop up oil on the surface of the water at Talbert Marsh in Huntington Beach, CA on Monday, October 4, 2021.
Workers with Patriot Environmental Services mop up the oil on the water's surface at Talbert Marsh in Huntington Beach, California, on Oct. 4. Photo: Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images
A globule of oil lies on the sand at the mouth of the Santa Ana River at the Huntington Beach
A globule of oil lies on the sand at the mouth of the Santa Ana River at Huntington Beach, California, on Oct. 3. Photo: Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Go deeper: California oil spill may close beaches for months

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